Jules van Schaijik

Joined: Aug. 5, 2011


Happily married to Katie for over 22 years; father of 5 wonderful children; and father in law to one more. (And much more handsome than the picture makes it seem.) I was born and raised in the Netherlands. Went to college in Steubenville, OH, and have been moving between Europe and America ever since. For studies, work, etc. Right now, we are happily ensconced in West Chester, PA, where the town is lively, the surroundings beautiful, the friends friendly, and the cycling club very active. I’m looking forward to many fun and fruitful conversations about things that matter.

Most recent posts by Jules van Schaijik:     (See all of them)

Austen on the need to investigate our feelings

Jul. 31 at 12:45pm | Comments: 3 | Most recent comment: Aug. 1 at 8:38am

I finished Deresiewicz’ delightful book A Jane Austen Education, which I first mentioned a few days ago. Before putting it back on the shelf, I want to mention another of its insights—one that tracks closely with what I have learned from von Hildebrand about the heart as "the real self" (see his The Heart, chapter 8). It has to do with the need to investigate our feelings. For Jane Austen the most obvious responsibility we have...

The moral seriousness of Miss Bates

Jul. 25 at 1:37pm | Comments: 2 | Most recent comment: Jul. 25 at 9:56pm

I picked up A Jane Austen Education by William Deresiewicz yesterday, and already learned something new. It has to do with the extremely talkative Miss Bates, from Emma. Miss Bates has always struck me as pitiable and ridiculous, a character thrown into the novel largely for comic effect. But Deresiewicz has a different angle. He argues that Miss Bates lives "the novel's highest lesson of all": that it is the little things of everyday—the sorts of things talked...

Kierkegaard turns 200

May. 8 at 8:52pm | Comments: 0

I was just reminded by an advertisement (a bookseller), that Søren Kierkegaard turned 200 last Sunday. That is something I don't want to let pass unnoticed. But I have only a few minutes at my disposal. So I will just leave you with soem passages from one of Kierkegaard's early journals. In these he expresses his longing, indeed, his need, "to find a truth which is truth for me, to find the idea for which I am willing...

On the Pseudo-Obvious

Mar. 11 at 5:21pm | Comments: 2 | Most recent comment: Mar. 12 at 11:15am

Today Alice von Hildebrand, widow of Dietrich von Hildebrand and philosopher in her own right, turns 90 years old.  In honor of the occasion, we asked her permission to republish an article of hers that we first came across about 25 years ago.  It's influenced our thinking ever since.   ON THE PSEUDO-OBVIOUS — by Alice von Hildebrand Introducing pseudo-obviousness It is no rare occurrence in the history of philosophy that a thesis which is neither proven nor evident has...

Leg logos (aka legos)

Feb. 22 at 10:34am | Comments: 0

Shirt logos are so commonplace nowadays that I rarely think about them. But sometimes, when I go shopping with my boys for instance, they still bother me. Why is it that we all accept this form of advertising? Why do we allow ourselves to be used in this way? Why, in fact, do we often have to (or want to) pay extra for the ads? It is not just boys or sports clothing either. Even dressier shirts usually have logos...

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Re: "Boxing" Others

Feb. 28 at 1:28am | see this comment in context

The distinction between "reading" and "boxing" also sheds light on the discussion between you and Katie about the legitimacy of confiding in others.  Part of the reason for confiding is to test and adjust one's own read of persons and situations.  But this confiding turns into mere gossip or venting as soon as it becomes a mere matter of spreading my negative read to others and infecting the larger community with it.

Re: "Boxing" Others

Feb. 28 at 1:25am | see this comment in context

Thanks for this insightful post, Marie.  Katie has been telling me to read it ever since it went up, but, knowing it required my full attention, I didn't get to it until yesterday.  Very challenging stuff indeed!  More a matter for self-examination than for further discussion.  (Like some of Kierkegaard's writings.)  I especially appreciate the way you bring out the motives of pain-avoidance and control, and also your explanation of how boxing others impinges on their inner freedom.  I have never heard that point mentioned in connection with this issue.

I also think the word "boxing" well chosen.  It is much more descriptive and less ambiguous than "judging".  Perhaps it would also help to distinguish more clearly between "having a read" and "boxing".  The former is both natural and helpful.  It is only when a "read" turns into a "box" that it becomes a problem.  That's when it becomes incorrigible, i.e. stops being responsive to the ever-unfolding truth and reality of the other.  That's also when it freezes the other in time and goes against hope and charity.

Re: fired for pregnancy

Feb. 25 at 12:27am | see this comment in context

So we agree then, Matt, that we do not know enough about the situation in question. Still, there is an important difference between us.  Whereas you think that, based on what we know, it is prudent to fire the pregnant teacher, I think that absent any further information there is no reason to fire her.  Our presumptive judgment should be to let her stay.

Pregnancy is not a sin.  No one should be fired for it, least of all by a Catholic institution.  Having sinned in the past—i.e., having failed to live up to the moral standards you uphold and want to live by—is also no reason for being fired. Why then, should the pregnant teacher be fired?

The likely answer is that her situation gives scandal.  But in todays circumstances I can't agree that it does.  On the contrary, I think the school's action is much more likely to give scandal.  The firing may well be justified by the particulars of the case, but based only on what we know it looks hard-hearted and pharisaical.

Re: fired for pregnancy

Feb. 16 at 5:04pm | see this comment in context

I agree that Katie's distinctions are helpful.  But my gut response to the case (knowing nothing besides what you wrote) is more like yours, Rhett.

All of us fall short of the moral teachings of the Church.  Some more obviously so than others.  Unless the teacher in question makes it clear that she thinks she did nothing wrong, I don't see why she should be fired.  There are plenty of women like her whose witness is enlightening and inspiring.

But obviously, in a case like this all depends on the particulars.

Re: Should We Redistribute the Children?

Feb. 14 at 2:58am | see this comment in context

Good post Devra.  But let's not forget that the great Plato, who certainly had nothing against God, also wanted to remove children from their parents.  He was motivated  by the common good.  He thought — much like Melissa Harris-Perry in the MSMBC clip — that the education of our children was far too important to leave to untrained, individual families.  It should be left to experts, people who knew what they were doing.  He was wrong, of course, but his motives were pretty good.

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